HPNOTIQ Harmonie + Spumante + Ice Cream Maker = Refined adult summer treat.
Summertime… it’s hot. On this particular afternoon I was sitting around the house bored, nowhere to go, nothing to do, trying not to sweat on everything. The air was filled with the sound of cicadas and the brrr of my neighbors lawn mower. Then, from a distance a heard the familiar song on the ice cream truck as it turned onto my block. The kids in my neighborhood raced down to the corner to intercept, sneakers slapping against the sidewalk, shouts and happy squeals as they raced past my lawn to the truck still some distance away. I remember losing my mind when I heard that song, almost like a Pavlovian trigger, nearly mugging my mother for change so I could get my favorite, the orange sherbet push pop…but that was years ago. I’m a grown man now with a kid of my own, somehow I lost the excitement that I had as a kid.
Maybe it was because the truck would appear without warning and you only had a small window of opportunity… now as an adult, if I want an orange sherbet push pop, I just get in my car and drive to the convenience store down the street; far from the magical experience that I had as a child. Perhaps too, as I got older my tastes have changed… I needed something new.
The other day I read online about a new line of liquor ice cream coming to market possibly later this year (we’ll cover that in another article) Sipping on my new favorite summer cocktail – The Purple Rain HPNOTIQ Harmonie and Sprite, I had one of those aha moments, I set my drink down and went to the big cabinet by the stove were I keep all the impulse buy kitchen gadgets…you know the ones I’m talking about, the sandwich maker, juicer, the George Foreman Grille in various sizes, etc.; somewhere in that clutter was an ice cream machine.
The aluminum liquid filled core needed to sit in the freezer for a few hours to freeze before use. That gave me several hours to plan out what I hoped to be the best sorbet ever. There are lessons to be learned here…I’ll share with you as I go along. First of all, what to make. I love my Purple Rain but I felt it needed to step up. I figured I’d swap the sprite for champagne (which is already a cocktail known as ‘Bubbles and Berries‘) The game plan seemed simple enough, add Harmonie and champagne (actually I had a small bottle of spumante) to ice cream maker then revel at my own genius… there were however some very basic things that I didn’t take into consideration
Fact #1 Alcohol does NOT freeze… at least not without a fight.
I added the ingredients to the ice cream maker and waited for nearly an hour, what I had was a thick slushy. I put the aluminum core back into the freezer with my partially frozen sorbet and called it a night. I was hoping by morning it would have solidified but what I had the next day was… a thick slushy.
Later the next night I returned to see it finally had set…it was still a thick slush but at least it was scoop-able.
The color maintained a delicate lavender. The taste, nothing was lost, it was Harmonie and Spumante only with a smooth frozen texture.
The proper method:
While waiting for my cocktail to freeze, I read up on the proper way to make champagne sorbet. I should have read it before trying this but as any man will tell you, we never read the directions. The proper technique to a making a champagne is to pour the champagne into a sauce pan with a cup of sugar and bring it to a quick boil first. This dissolves the sugar and evaporates enough of the alcohol so that it can freeze. It was even suggested to add some lemon and orange zest. Next step is to cool it down. The fastest method being to put the liquid in a metal bowl then putting that bowl into a larger bowl with ice water. Once cold, you can add it to the ice cream maker. You don’t want to add it while it’s warm because you don’t want to warm up the core of the ice cream maker…otherwise you’ll never get it done.
Another method I heard works well that doesn’t compromise the alcohol content of the liquid is to forgo the ice cream maker entirely and add the liquid to a large baking pan an put that in the freezer. Increasing the surface area and minimizing the depth of the liquid ensures for a quick and thorough freeze. Once fairly solid, mix it up with a hand blender. This will give you a smooth sorbet texture.
I think as a cocktail, the Bubbles and Berries and the Purple Rain are refreshing and quite excellent. Harmonie, as a floral based liquor, is actually amazing (see our review here) But as a frozen desert I can see adding the sugar to the mix. Definitely going to the next go around. I did however turn my favorite cocktail into a desert so I’ll chalk this one up as a victory. As the summer drags on I’m sure the ice cream maker will continue to churn out more frozen libations. It’s fun and anything goes. I’ve finally found my child-like excitement for frozen summer treats. It’s hard to mess this up. Even without reading the instructions it still worked out pretty well. So dust off your ice cream maker and make something amazing. If you do come up with something, please send us a picture, We’d love to post it.
Now if I can just figure out how to make a luxury ice cream cone.
To Be Continued…